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Widnes Vikings Gareth Hock named in England Elite Training Squad
9:32am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Sport
WIDNES Vikings second row Gareth Hock has been named in England Rugby League’s 30-man Elite Training Squad as the national team starts its preparations in World Cup year.
Hock, on a season-long loan from Wigan Warriors, will meet up with the rest of the squad for a training camp at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire on the weekend of March 16.
He was one of the stars on his first start for Vikings in their 36-16 defeat of Hull FC on Saturday.
Vikings' head coach Denis Betts said: "He was outstanding. He's getting better and will keep getting better because he's enjoying himself here."
Concerns have been raised about Hock stepping over the line at times with ill-displine, while not forgetting his power and skill.
Betts said: "You can talk about his ill-discipline and the pnealties he concedes, but isn't he exciting! Isn't he good to have in your team too."
Leeds Rhinos are represented by eight players in the squad, while Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos are close behind with six each.
The only player involved who has not been selected before is Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Ben Cockayne.
Cockayne, aged 29, has scored six tries in Wildcats’ opening five league fixtures.
“We have been impressed with Ben’s (Cockayne) all-round form in Super League over a sustained period of time and he deserves his call up to the ETS,” said head coach Steve McNamara.
“We hope he can build on his selection and continue his progress as a top class Rugby League player.”
McNamara added: “The players are fully aware of the importance of this year.
“Every opportunity we have together will be vital in honing our preparations to make a real impact on the Rugby League World Cup in the autumn.
“We have every confidence in the group, along with our Australian based players, to be competitive against the best teams in the world. We are leaving nothing to chance and our training programme will add variety and the attention to detail our elite players deserve.”
England will start their 2013 campaign with the International Origin match against the Exiles on Friday June 14 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington and will take on France in a warm-up game before the Rugby League World Cup gets underway on Saturday October 26, when England take on Australia at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
England Elite Training Squad (Professional club and community club listed):
Carl Ablett Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside
Tom Briscoe Hull FC, Featherstone Lions
Rob Burrow Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions
Garreth Carvell Warrington Wolves, Stanningley
Josh Charnley Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks
Rangi Chase Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers
Ben Cockayne Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Normanton Knights
Eorl Crabtree Huddersfield Giants, Huddersfield YMCA
Leroy Cudjoe Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers
Gareth Ellis Hull FC, Lock Lane
Liam Farrell Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats
Ryan Hall Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders
Zak Hardaker Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions
Gareth Hock Widnes Vikings, Wigan St Judes
Chris Hill Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions
Jamie Jones-Buchanan Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley
Danny McGuire Leeds Rhinos, East Leeds
Michael McIlorum Wigan Warriors, Queens
Adrian Morley Warrington Wolves, Eccles
Lee Mossop Wigan Warriors, Hensingham
Richie Myler Warrington Wolves, Halton West Bank
Sean O’Loughlin Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks
Stefan Ratchford Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks
James Roby St Helens, Blackbrook
Kevin Sinfield Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead
Danny Tickle Hull FC, Golborne Parkside
Sam Tomkins Wigan Warriors Wigan St Patricks
Kallum Watkins Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion
Ben Westwood Warrington Wolves, Normanton
Jon Wilkin St Helens, East Hull